Accepted Paper:

Supply and Demand in the Policy Research Market  
Laurie Nathan (University of Notre Dame)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will explore the dynamics of policy research through the model of a commercial market. It will focus on the policymaker's needs; the researcher's outputs, evidence, methodology, norms, expertise and marketing; and the relationship between researchers and policymakers.

Paper long abstract:

The paper will explore the dynamics of policy research through the model of a commercial market. This model is instructive because policy researchers, whether for financial, normative or career reasons, seek to sell their ideas and services to policymakers. As with other products and services, the researchers will only be successful if they understand and meet the needs of the intended consumers of their research. The paper will consider the implications of this logic in terms of the policymaker's needs; the researcher's outputs, evidence, methodology, normative orientation, expertise and marketing; and the relationship between the researcher and the policymaker. The paper will draw on the literature on policy research and on the author's experience of three decades of policy advice on security sector reform, regional security and mediation, provided to the South African government, other governments in Southern Africa, the United Nations, the African Union and sub-regional organizations in Africa.

Panel Pol03
The inner life of African organizations: Innovative methods and approaches